The value of your nursing home neglect case will depend greatly on the facts of your particular situation, which includes the jurisdiction you are in and the venue for the claim.
Generally, the value of a nursing home case will depend on three factors: breach, causation, and damages. A case in which there is ample evidence of all three will likely be more valuable than a case that does not.
Breach is short for “breach of the standard of care.” Did the nursing home do, or not do, something that any other nursing home would have done under similar circumstances? So, for example, it is standard procedure, and a legal requirement for facilities receiving federal money, to conduct a fall risk assessment for incoming residents. Assessments will reveal the number and types of precautions that the nursing home should take to prevent each resident from falling. If a nursing home fails to take an assessment, or to take the appropriate precautions, and a resident falls, that nursing home has almost certainly breached the standard of care.
The second component of case value is causation. Did the breach actually cause the injury? Often, causation is difficult to prove. In our previous example, it’s easy to link broken bones or abrasions to a witnessed fall (of course assuming that the injuries were not preexisting). But in most other instances, connecting the dots are not as simple. Linking an infection like sepsis to a particular wound, for example. You must present evidence of connection, while at the same time disconnecting, or disproving that some other disease or co-morbidity caused the infection. Although it can be difficult to conceptualize, just because one thing comes before another, does not mean that the first thing is the cause of the second. That is a logical fallacy called post hoc ergo proctor hoc. The breach must be linked not just in sequence, but directly and proximately, to the injury, to the reasonable exclusion of all other factors.
The third item affecting case value is damages. Damages mean the degree of the injury and how much it physically impacts the resident’s life. Grave injuries, like amputation or broken bones are often of higher value than a scratch or bruising. Damages tend to be the number one factor when valuing a case. A case where evidence of breach and causation are clear, but there are no damages, i.e., a “close call,” tend not to be as valuable as those where damages are grave.
Your location may also affect case value. Some jurisdictions tend to be more “plaintiff” friendly than others. Further, the venue in which the claim is heard is important. Statistics show that claims that are arbitrated tend to skew in favor of the nursing home, as opposed to a jury trial in a court of law.
If your loved one has been injured or neglected at a nursing home, and you are not sure about the value of the claim, please feel free to call and speak to one of our Georgia nursing home neglect lawyers today. Our consultations are always free. If you would like more information about this topic, be sure to click on our other videos, or better yet, click the subscribe button to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thank you.